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OpenRespect and the Problems of Endorsing Civility

Nov 14, 2010, 19:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"Two years ago, I suggested that the free and open source software community could use a code of conduct to make conversations more polite and more constructive. My views haven't changed any, so I am delighted at Canonical Community Manager Jono Bacon's launching of OpenRespect.org that attempts to codify respectful conduct. My only concern is that the effort is already receiving some of the abuse that it attempts to counter.

"The project home page starts with the declaration that "Our methods and opinions may differ, and our definitions of what constitutes freedom and openness may vary, but this united belief in freedom and openness remains the same." It then goes on to list five characteristics of respectful interaction: judging people only by the quality of what they say, civility, agreeing when necessary to disagree, debating constructively, and being sensitive to other people's feelings. The site also includes some guidelines about how to carry out these goals, as well as some web buttons you can use to show your support of the project."

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